WRAL Investigates

Convicted Medicaid cheater now victim of Ponzi scheme

Posted May 31, 2017 3:10 p.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2017 6:22 p.m. EDT

Tracie Yvette Clay declined to answer questions in 2012 about suspected Medicaid fraud. Two years later, she pleaded guilty to stealing $1 million in Medicaid money and was sentenced to six years in prison.

— A woman now in prison for Medicaid fraud used some of her ill-gotten gains to invest in a Ponzi scheme, according to court documents.

Tracie Yvette Clay pleaded guilty in 2014 to three counts of health care fraud and is now serving a six-year sentence at a federal prison in West Virginia. Authorities said Clay, the chief executive of Durham-based North Carolina Behavioral Health and Counseling, illegally used Medicaid ID numbers and a doctor's billing code to steal more than $1 million in Medicaid money.

New court documents show that Clay, her husband and their son used some of that Medicaid money to invest in ZeekRewards, a Lexington-based company that promised a $100 return on every $1 invested.

Federal regulators shut down ZeekRewards in 2012, accusing it of illegally selling investments.

IRS agents are now trying to seize $25,000 the Clays invested in the scheme. Tens of thousands of other people also are fighting to get some of their money back from the defunct company.

Once Clay is released from prison, she also must pay off a $990,000 fine.